First cluster try
I went around and counted up all the PCs I had sitting around that are complete but aren't powered on. There's no less than 14 of them. I also have a couple of motherboards and cases and could probably build 2 more Pentium class, and maybe even a couple of 486s.
Cleared my entire table off and gathered up 5 computers and downloaded CHAOS and BCCD isos and burned them. CHAOS wouldn't boot on 2. BCCD wouldn't let me "runinram" and I didn't want to burn a second disk. And one PC refused to turn on entirely (I think the power supply crapped out). The kernel versions on the BCCD and CHAOS copies I got are different and so they wouldn't link, but I was at least able to see the load distribute between 2 computers.
It looks like if I want to make it work with just the computers I have on the table right now I'll have to build my own kernel that doesn't lock up. Dunno if I want to put a minimal linux install on them all or what.